Report back on current awareness roundtable – 20th October 2015

ALLA(WA) held a current awareness roundtable on 20th October 2015 at Jackson McDonald to discuss current awareness and the resources available to assist with keeping up-to-date with case law, legislation and news.

A number of discussions took place, and the following question was put to the 11 members that attended:

How do library staff notify clients/fee earners of new law reports, journals etc. when many of us are now predominantly electronic?
One member indicated that it is responsibility of the fee earner to keep up-to-date by signing up to receive the LexisNexis notifiers, alerts via Westlaw AU etc.

A number of members mentioned that they still spend time either photocopying the contents pages of law reports and journals or circulating the electronic issues/table of contents to subscribed fee earners.

Some members mentioned that the use of the library catalogue allows for current awareness to be streamlined. First library software for example allows library staff to link to electronic journals and issues, and it is the responsibility of users to subscribe to relevant current awareness alerts.

Following on from that, a brainstorming session encouraged members to discuss relevant subscriptions, free resources and products that can assist with current awareness and research.

What are the resources you use for legislation current awareness?
A number of members indicated that they subscribe to LawLex. This service provides for bill tracking and alerts to be set up for amendments to Acts and subsidiary legislation. Some members utilise the ‘As made’ or ‘As passed’ section on Comlaw or State Law Publisher to keep track of new legislation.

Alerts to media statements from the Government of Western Australia and the Commonwealth government provide notification of new and prospective amendments to legislation, as well awareness of state wide projects and developments.

The Western Australian Parliament and the Commonwealth Parliament allow users to monitor or track the progress of a Bill through Parliament.

What are the resources you use for case law alerts? 

Daily unreported judgments is a free email service that identifies new cases that have been handed down by the courts.

Jade Barnet allows subscribers to set up alerts on specific topics of law, legislation etc.

Court notifiers (not an exhaustive list): High Court of Australia; Supreme Court of Western Australia; District Court of Western Australia.

What services/subscriptions can be used for media and newspaper alerts? 

Daily Business News alert is a free email alert that provides an overview of business news within Western Australia.

InfoXpress is a daily subscription that provides a summary of daily business news from The Age, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review.Other subscription services that cover media and newspaper alerts include: NexisNews; Capital Monitor.

What are other alerting services?
ASX alerts is a complimentary service for subscribers to the Australian Stock Exchange Listing Rules through LexisNexis. Subscribers receive a notification when the listing rules are updated.

Bloomberg is a subscription service, where members can sign up to receive alerts and live company data for listed companies.Other similar subscription services include: Company360; DatAnalysis.

InvestorPA is a free alerting service for Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) company announcements.Subscribers can sign up to receive alerts for up to 100 companies.

LexisNexis LegalExpress is complimentary service for existing LexisNexis customers.It contains legal news headlines, short case notes and a concise list of newly released legislative information.
You can choose to customise your information if you are interested in particular subject areas or jurisdictions only.

Lexology a free service that provides tailored subject specific updates for articles written by leading Australian and international law firms.

If you know of any other relevant resources, please fee free to comment below.

ALLA(WA) Past President - Mawghan Elverd.
Senior Librarian, Jackson McDonald.

Not so fast!

In this blog post Susan Munro asks what is the right pace of change and looks at two assumptions of legal publishing which have challenged our belief of what to change and what not to. I am sure we have all come across these two assumptions, some of us on a daily basis. These assumptions are:
  • Print is on its way out.
  • Digital natives intuitively know how to use any technology.
View the article here.

ALLA webinar on Future Libraries

Cross-posted from ALLA National

Collaborate and Learn

This month ALLA is proud to collaborate with Kim Sherwin from ARUP.

Over the coming months ALLA will collaborate with leaders in the information industry to bring you expertise and knowledge that will enable you to turn information into knowledge.

Future Libraries by Arup: our role, our space & our research

Kim will present on the role of the Library team at Arup and the delivery of their new and exciting workshop space in Sydney.

Kim will also talk about the Future Libraries research that Arup published earlier this year. The session will provide a journey through the opportunity rich environment that Arup provides. It will also challenge our thinking of what's possible for libraries of the future

When: Tuesday, 8th of December, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM AEDT  (10:00 AM in Perth)

Cost: Free to ALLA members

Registration: click here

We Thank: CCH Wolters Kluwer for assistance with the GoToMeeting

About Kim:

Once a Law Librarian, Kim is now a Senior Librarian and Knowledge Specialist at Arup. Arup is a global engineering and design consultancy and has been involved in some of the worlds most iconic buildings, including the Sydney Opera House.

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (UK) papers available online

The International Association of Law Libraries has posted news from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) about an important digitisation project.

Thousands of Case Papers from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council are now freely available on BAILII. The database includes all decisions from 1996 and selected historical decisions back to 1890.

The report by Steven Whittle of IALS explains that:

"The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee. As well, the Privy Council hears some appeals within the UK. Historically, it was the supreme appellate court of the British Empire, whose decisions also provided persuasive authority in British courts. It has decided cases across a wide range of legal topics such as: admiralty, constitutional and ecclesiastical matters, contract, murder, status of persons; and had a key role in the export and assimilation of common law around the world."

Have a look at the IALL post for more details on this project. Hat tip:

Business News articles for free, this week only

According to the print edition, articles from the Business News are available for free on its website for this week only (23rd November). Peruse the news items, search for companies and look at the book of lists.

Hat tip:
ALLA(WA) Committee member - Anne Young.
KM Librarian (Litigation and Regulatory), DLA Piper.

12 Apps of Christmas - Open course hosted by Regent’s University London

Text cross-posted from various e-mail lists

Have you ever thought about taking part in a MOOC but were worried it would take too much of your time?

Are you interested in exploring which free mobile apps could help you in your teaching or supporting your students?

Would you like to take part in a fun, free, practical online course this December?

Then the 12 Apps of Christmas could be for you.

Last year, hundreds of educators and librarians around the world took part in a new open course hosted by Regent’s University London - the 12 Apps of Christmas. In just a few minutes a day, they learned about and tried out a range of free mobile apps with potential classroom use, built a community of practice, and had fun doing so.

The course was a success, winning the Credo Digital Information Literacy Award and inspiring people to run versions at other institutions. Now, the original is back – better than ever !

From 1st to 16th December this year, we will be presenting Christmas 2.0! The 12 Apps of Christmas 2015 will offer a completely new range of carefully selected apps, while keeping to the same simple, entertaining formula which made it so successful last year. Expect guest posts, engaging hands-on activities, and a chance to be part of a friendly, enquiring community of educators worldwide. And for those of you who took part last year – yes, we’re afraid the Christmas cracker jokes will be back…

To enrol on the 12 Apps of Christmas 2015, go to

For more information contact Chris Rowell,  Deputy Learning Technology Manager,  Learning Resources at Regent’s University London,

Michael Kirby's 10 Commandments to Australian Law Schools

Thomson Reuters is providing online access to the text of the Hon. Michael Kirby's Leo Cussen Justice Lecture at the Australian Law Teachers' Association Conference earlier this year. It's interesting reading for librarians who are involved in supporting legal education in universities. The ten 'commandments' to Law Schools presented in the lecture are:
  1. Assure a more diverse intake
  2. Attend to vulnerable students, so that they survive their studies
  3. Address some particular subjects of poverty law
  4. Encourage engagement by future lawyers with civil society
  5. Promote engagement with all forms of legal aid
  6. Acknowledge the importance of the law on costs
  7. Enhance access to law through new technology
  8. Establish miscarriage of justice and innocence clinics
  9. Undertake reliant empirical research and law reform projects
  10. Consider basic lessons to be derived from foreign systems
The text of the lecture can be downloaded from the Thomson Reuters Insight blog for free, although it's necessary to enter personal information in a form before access is granted.

Harvard University opens up its legal library

American case law is being made available outside expensive paywalls thanks to Harvard University who is digitising their complete legal library. They have made this possible by partnering with Ravel Law who are funding this project. 40,000 physical books are in the process of being scanned so they may be freely available to the public and fully searchable online. This open platform will be of particular importance to small law firms with limited resources as well as the general public. The expected completion date is in 2017 and cases will be available at

Read the full article here.

Looking for US court decisions?

A handy link if you need to find US case law:

The Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C. has compiled a website with quick links to sources of U.S. federal court decisions.

Grant to attend American Association of Law Libraries conference

Cross-posted from the WAIN mailing list

The Foreign, Comparative and International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries is now accepting applications for the 2016 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians. The Grant subsidizes a foreign law librarian to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the world's largest law librarian professional organization.

The FCIL Schaffer Grant for the AALL Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois (July 16-19, 2016) provides a waiver of the AALL Annual Meeting full registration fee and a money grant of a minimum US $2,000 to assist with accommodations and travel costs

 Details regarding the FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians as well as the application form can be found at

The application deadline is December 15, 2015.

Applicants must be law librarians or other professionals working in the legal information field, currently employed in countries other than the United States, and with significant responsibility for the organization, preservation, or provision of legal information. The Grant Committee will not consider late or incomplete applications.

Please note: Grant winners must pay all expenses in advance. Grant awards will only be disbursed at the AALL Annual Meeting.

Please feel free to contact me or another committee member if you have any questions about the 2016 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians. Also, please feel free to distribute this announcement to any listserv or individual who might be interested in attending the 2016 AALL Annual Meeting.

Sincerely, Sherry Leysen 2016 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Selection Committee

Queensland Statutes Reprints Online

The Supreme Court Library Queensland, in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology Law Library, has issued a press release announcing that two sets of statutes reprints are now online: the 1962 Reprints, and the pre-1991 series of reprints (also known as the 'White Reprints'). Australian Law Librarians’ Association (Queensland) Inc.supported these projects. The full press release is here [PDF].

The Journal in the depths of Africa

The Australian Law Librarian is a well travelled journal with its recent journey to iMfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa.

Can you see what we can see underneath the tree? 
Below is the close up:

It was an amazing experience. We saw many different animals, large and small, and slept in the game reserve for 3 nights sharing our sleeping quarters with one scorpion, one centipede and one baboon spider who very kindly made themselves known to us.

Where will the Journal travel to next?

ALLA(WA) Committee Member - Jaya Ralph
Librarian, Curtin University

ALLA(WA) wine and cheese discussion 11th November

ALLA(WA) members, you're invited to a wine and cheese discussion on 11th November at 5.15. You should have received an invitation by e-mail with the details. If you didn't receive it, please contact us at We look forward to seeing you there!

App design as emerging skill for legal profession?

Legal information has been accessed electronically for decades, but how many legal professionals have technical skills in designing tools for organising or delivering information resources? The Melbourne Law School offers a unit called Law Apps [PDF unit guide] in which students design apps that deliver advice for common legal problems. A design competition is also part of the project, as described in this press release. Perhaps this type of skill will become more prevalent in legal education in the future?

WA Industrial Gazette online back to 1965

Did you know?

The Western Australian Industrial Gazette is now online back to 1965 (volume 45) on the State Law Publisher website.

The gazettes can be browsed by date, and there is also a cross-search function. In addition, indices and appendices can be downloaded.

The myths of the digital native (via 3 geeks and a law blog)

On Three Geeks and a Law Blog, Casey Flaherty recently offered insightful commentary on the "myth of the digital native", particularly in the context of legal education and training. Check out both part 1 and part 2 of the topic.

The myth in question is the notion that people who have grown up using computers are therefore adept at using any kind of "technology" (itself a vague term) naturally, without any training.

Flaherty offers evidence from his 20-something students' performance on his Legal Tech Assessment test, which focuses on word processing and spreadsheet tasks. It's probably not a shock to anyone who works with university students or recent graduates that the results were fairly dismal.

The reason, Flaherty argues, is that "Everyone just assumes that they know things that they had no way of knowing absent training. They are not stupid, lazy, or untalented. They are smart, hard working, and full of promise. They simply lack training in one particular area that has the potential to make their lives better."

Indeed, Flaherty further argues that better basic technology skills would improve legal professionals' efficiency and job satisfaction. But no one, including the so-called millennials themselves, seem to see the need for training in basic productivity, information management, and research tools.

Do librarians have a role to play in this conversation?

ALLA(WA) Secretary - Megan Fitzgibbons.
Librarian, University of Western Australia.

ALLA National Conference survey

The following update is from the ALLA National Conference convenors

We are very excited to launch the website for the 2016 ALLA National Conference, to be held at the State Library of Victoria August 24-26, 2016.

Watch for further announcements by email or follow the conference hashtag on Twitter (#ALLA2016Conf) for updates about the conference program, speaker announcements and much more!

We want the 2016 conference to be one that reflects the needs and interests of our entire membership. To this end, it would be great if you could take a few minutes to complete this survey, letting the committee know your ideas and suggestions for topics, speakers, events or anything else you would like to see at the conference.This will greatly assist the committee in crafting a truly spectacular conference for you all! The survey will be open until the end of November, so get your thinking caps on and suggest away!

This is the first of what will be many exciting updates regarding the 2016 conference. If you have any feedback/comments/concerns please do not hesitate to contact the convenors Leanne and Veryan.